Wherein We See How Horton & McDurmon Leave Us Shipwrecked

“… it’s a good thing that we no longer live in an era where Christianity is a culture.”

Dr. Michael Horton — Reformed Seminary Professor
One of R2k’s Architects

Keep in mind that Mike, if he was consistent, would say that mankind has never lived in an era where Christianity was a culture. This is the case because Mike Horton, like all R2K mobsters, does not believe it is possible for any culture to be Christian since culture by definition, like Education, Law, Family life, Arts, etc. cannot be “Christian.” Per R2K, only Churches and individuals can be Christian. So, per R2K, all those centuries of Christendom were not really Christendom. Per R2K, those cultures in the era of Cromwell, or in the era of the Puritans in the “New World,” or in the era of Alfred the Great when his Kingdom was ruled by excerpts taken right out of God’s Law, or the era of Charlemagne, etc. were never Christian in any sense in their culture. Per R2K culture can only be common and of course, if a culture is not Christian but is only common then the only category left for that R2K common culture is “non-Christian.” Unless, of course, the R2K lads are arguing that common culture is a neutral culture. However, given the fact that the bastion of R2Kism is Westminster Seminary – Cal. where all the papers of Cornelius Van Til are held, I know the R2K lads could not be arguing that the common realm is a neutral realm. Or could they be arguing that?

There is some irony here for those with eyes to see. The Reformed world is not caught between the hammer of R2K and the anvil of Alienist Cultural Marxist “theonomy” as promoted by the likes of Joel McDurmon (he of “the oldest law student in America” fame) and his hacks over at “The Lamb’s Reign.” On the one hand, the uber Amillennial R2K teaches, as seen by Mike’s quote above, “... it’s a good thing that we no longer live in an era where Christianity is a culture,” while the uber postmillennial Alienist Cultural Marxist “theonomy” teaches CRT, WOKE, and Intersectionality. Indeed for the Alienist Cultural Marxist “theonomists,” any cultural era preceding the CRT era was not Christian. So, boiling it down the amil R2K hammer lads are telling us that “it’s good Christian culture is gone,” while the postmil Cultural Marxist theonomists anvil lads are telling us that “only Cultural Marxist culture is Christian.” Not surprisingly Biblical Christians respond with, “a pox upon both your houses.” 

Apologetics from the Time Capsule … Lane Keister, R2K and Vitriol (2011)

 Lane wrote,

“If you believe some people on the internet today, R2K theology is the antichrist. They want their neo-Kuyperianism unchallenged over the Reformed world today. But is radical Two Kingdoms so antithetical to the Gospel and to the Reformed faith?”

Bret responds,

As a Rabbi (per Darryl Gnostic Hart) I think I can speak to this.

Is R2K (when I will get some royalties for coining that phrase?) antithetical to the Gospel and the Reformed faith? Well, it depends on what you mean by “antithetical.” If you are asking whether or not R2K in the abstract is antithetical to the Gospel, in the Gospel’s narrow sense, then I would have to say “no.” If you are asking whether or not R2K is antithetical to Christianity in Christianity’s broadest sense, then it would depend upon which discussion I was most recently in.

The Reformed faith has ALWAYS been a comprehensive and totalistic world and life view. If you question this pick up the “Calvin in the Public Square” series by David Hall or Joe Boot’s “Mission of God.”  R2K denies that the Christian faith is comprehensive and totalistic with its denial that grace impinges upon nature. R2k has a Gospel that justifies the abstracted individual and champions a Gospel that is denuded of its public square implications. Can the Church speak on Cultural Marxism in the public square? R2K says …

“No, the Church can not speak against the enemy that is trying to kill Christianity, as Cultural Marxism saturates the public square for that would be impious to do so.”

Rev. K writes,

One could argue that the R2K theology is simply trying to rid the Gospel of all the accretions to the gospel that have been trying to creep in unawares. When I read Michael Horton, for instance, I see a man who is trying with all his might to keep the Gospel the Gospel and to forbid anything else from encroaching on the territory of the Gospel. That’s his heart. I know it is.

Bret responds,

And one could argue that R2K is simply trying to rid Christianity from declaiming against the sins of the zeitgeist so that large Church Presbyterianism can be achieved again. When I read Michael Horton I read a man with the best of intentions but who just does not understand that the Gospel can’t be abstracted from a Christian world and life view.

Rev. K writes,

Ultimately, why would such vitriol be leveled against R2K folk?

Rabbi Bret responds,

You mean the kind of vitriol that says “Don’t trust Dr. Kloosterman”? You mean the kind of vitriol that finds D. G. Hart character assassinating me every time I turn around? You mean the kind of vitriol that Meredith Kline splashed around against Dr. Greg Bahnsen?

“With its gifted and energetic leadership, this movement held the promise of great good. The tragedy of Chalcedon is that of high potential wasted – worse than wasted, for its most distinctive and emphatically maintained thesis is a delusive and grotesque perversion of the teaching of Scripture.”

You mean the kind of vitriol that had T. David Gordon saying,

“It (Theonomy) is not merely the view of the unwise, but the view of the never-to-be-wise, because it is the view of those who wrongly believe that scripture sufficiently governs this arena, and who, for this reason, will never discover in the natural constitution of the human nature or the particular circumstances of given peoples what must be discovered to govern well and wisely.”

And what shall we say of the vitriol of a formerly popular blog referenced above?

But hey … Theological controversy always makes vitriol the number one drink in the saloon, and as such, I don’t mind much – water off a duck’s back and all that – except when the vitriol flingers complain and whine about vitriol being flung about.

Rev. K. offered,

Aren’t the matters concerning church and state secondary to the Gospel?

 Bret counsels,

Not, if the State by its policy is seeking to wipe out Christianity. This is the reality that we are in, in America right now.

Rev. K says,

If they aren’t secondary, then I would argue that one side has made the Gospel something much bigger than it actually is. Church-state relations are secondary matters, not primary. And that should be true whether one is R2K or Neo-Kuyperian. I do not see the same kind of vitriol coming from the R2K guys against Neo-Kuyperianism, with the possible exception of Darryl Hart, and even he is a lot more light-hearted (Harted?) than most people credit him.

Rabbi Bret responds,

When the State becomes the idol du jour, seeking to be God walking on the earth then the law that is the red hot needle that pulls through the scarlet thread of the Gospel must inveigh against the idol state that people might repent of their sin and embrace the God of the Bible. A people infatuated with the God state will always reinterpret Christianity in light of the God State and so Church and State become a major issue to the Gospel because it is the idol that must go.

Rev. K. offers,

Also, I don’t trust Nelson Kloosterman anymore. He has written an encomium on the back of a book that defends Norman Shepherd. He has always been a Klaas Schilder fan. I think Kloosterman is soft on FV issues.

Bret responds,

Was Schilder ever disciplined as a heretic? Has Kloosterman ever been disciplined as a heretic?

Rev. K. writes,

Regardless of what one thinks of Kloosterman, I don’t think this board should tolerate accusations against the R2K guys of distorting the Gospel. I think we have been generally pretty careful about this. But I would especially exhort the Neo-Kuyperians among us- why are you posting what you are posting? Is this going to promote understanding or polarization? We have much to learn from the R2K guys. I think especially Neo-Kuyperians have much to learn from R2K folks. If only there could be open minds.

Rabbi Bret,

I have nothing to learn from R2K theologians when they are in their R2K mode.

This is why the Green Baggins blog has always been such a joke.

Rev. K. writes

The main reason I am saying this is that Neo-Kuyperianism has had pretty much a free reign in Reformed circles during the last century. And yet, Van Drunen does offer significant evidence that 2K theology was much more prominent in the Reformation eras than it is today. This is a strand of Reformed thinking, not just Lutheran thinking. We need to give this a fair hearing, and vitriol against the 2K position isn’t going to help matters. Remember this Proverb (18:13): “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” There’s a lot of that going on today on the internet.

Rabbi Bret responds,

Dr. Venema has exposed the problems with Dr. Van Drunnen’s book and some of the errant conclusions he reaches regarding past eras. Dr. James Anderson has exposed the contradictory problems w/ Dr. Van Drunnen’s book. Dr. John Frame has exposed the errors in Dr. Van Drunen’s book. Dr. Keith Mathison, speaking for Ligonier has raised some serious (and I think unanswerable) questions regarding Van Drunen’s book. Dr. Mark Dever’s interview with Dr. Van Drunen exposes the folly of R2K, and that quite without even trying. Dr Brad Littlejohn has done a fine expose of the problems with Van Drunen.

Legions are the problems that have been exposed regarding R2K by good men and for the most part silence in answering those critiques have been the response.

R2K … Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.

Observations on Mike Horton’s Determination to Surrender Christianity — Part I

In a recent presentation on our favorite Christian heretic site that screams everyone else is a heretic, The Gospel Coalition, gives us an interview that includes the precious insights from a little-known “theologian” named Mike Horton.

I take some time here exposing Horton’s lack and my own frustration with Horton’s lack. Keep in mind that Horton is training young men for the Gospel ministry and that what he says here is going to in turn be said in pulpits all across America.

“Islam is not an external threat in the United State to Christianity but Christian Nationalism is a Christian heresy. It is, therefore, an internal threat both to the message and the witness of the Church.”

Mike Horton

1.) I dare Mike to come to Dearborn or Hamtramck Michigan and say that first part about Islam not being an external threat to the US.

2.) Are we to wait till Islam becomes an external threat to the US before we understand that as Americans and Christians Muslims are other than us and so should be restricted from coming here?

3.) Certainly, some forms of Christian Nationalism could well be a threat to the message and witness of the Church of Jesus Christ but to say in a blanket fashion that Christian Nationalism is by definition a threat to the Church is just bull fecal matter coming out of the mouth of a Christian heterdox.
4.) We should expect someone who touts the heresy of R2K to accuse orthodoxy (and Christian Nationalism practiced in a Biblical fashion is God’s model for social orders) of being heretical.

Horton also, in the “Christian Nationalism” podcast denounces the Crusaders for splitting the skulls of infidel while confessing “Christ is Lord,” saying that in that context the statement “Christ is Lord” is not faithful.

Horton thus shows, once again, that he is an idiot and knows nothing about History. The Crusades were a defensive war against a centuries-long unanswered Muslim offensive that had, by the power of the Scimitar, conquered and vanquished the Christian message, faith, and civilizations across the formerly Christian N. African Littoral, into Christian Europe, and across the formerly  Christian Middle-East. For Horton to suggest that it was wrong for the Crusaders to defend Christianity, the Gospel, and Christendom by splitting the skull of the infidel while chanting “Iesus Christus Dominus Est” demonstrates that Horton’s Christianity is a suicide pact. Maybe Horton would have preferred the Crusaders to chant “We love you and God loves you also.”

Horton here also violates the 5th commandment (as well as the 9th commandment) by running down his fathers in the Faith — the Crusaders.

As we move on in this interview we find this gem of an exchange;

Moderator: Let me ask a clarifying question, Mike. Would you say that Nationalism itself is a threat to the Gospel or only Christian Nationalism?
Horton: “If Nationalism is the idea that we have to be Americans more than anything else then yes it is a threat to Christianity. We are Christians more than anything else which means we are united not only here but with our brothers and sisters around the world and that is our first family.

BLMc responds,

1.) Clearly, Biblical Nationalism would never prioritize one’s home over one’s faith if that was the ultimate choice. To prioritize our homeland when in error over Christ would be idolatry. No Christian who advocates for Biblical Nationalism would ever place Christ over family and home when family and home are against Christ.

2.) I would say our first family is our blood family who is united with us in Christ. Horton posits a dichotomy between nation and faith that at times might exist but certainly isn’t necessarily the norm. St. Paul in Romans 9:3 gives us an example of what I am talking about.

“For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race…”

Here Paul says of his blood kin what he says nowhere else about other Christians who are not his blood kin. Obviously, there is a kind of Nationalism we see here coming from St. Paul — a Nationalism that Mike desires to summarily dismiss as being heresy.

3.) Horton keeps decrying Nationalism but allow us to ask what other social-order form does Mik recommend? Internationalism? Marx would be happy. Empire? Empires don’t have that great of a Historical track record — especially if you belong to a people on the bottom of the Empire. The social order Mike wants because of his R2K theology is some form of pluralism or multiculturalism. Horton’s R2K forces him to denounce nationalism because R2K presupposes a social order common realm where peoples from all different faiths and origins are cheek by jowl.

4.) Fortunately, Biblical Nationalism doesn’t mean being an American before being a Christian. Biblical Nationalism, contra Mike, doesn’t mean “My country right or wrong but still my country.” That is more “Murica Bear-ism and not Biblical Nationalism.

Elsewhere Horton suggests that Christian Nationalism by necessity inverts the Old Testament by viewing Israel as presaging America as opposed to pointing to Christ. While certainly, that might be true of some versions of non-Biblical Christian Nationalism it is by no means true of all  Christian Nationalism that is Biblical.

Horton is already showing a habit of taking Christian Nationalism in its worst expression and making that the norm so that all Christian Nationalists are, in Horton’s book, “Murican Bears.”

Horton in this interview talks about how heresy is parasitical upon the Christian faith. He says heresy twists the Christian faith. Of course, he is correct but I find myself listening with jaw agape wondering if this man understands nothing of irony. Horton and his whole R2K school of “thought” is a parasite upon the Christian faith and here his Horton talking about heresy as parasitical on the Christian faith.

Not Getting R. Scott Clark’s Inability to Get The Obvious

“Practically, what does it mean to speak of transforming softball or orchestral music or any other cultural endeavor? Why cannot softball simply be what it is, recreation? What is distinctively Christian about “Christian art” or “Christian history” or Christian math”? I understand that the rhetoric is sacrosanct (a shibboleth, as it were) but what does it signify? What are the particulars? I understand that when we get to ultimate matters, e.g., theology, there is a distinctively Christian view of things and there is certainly a Christian interpretation of the significance of things. That is a Christian worldview properly understood but what does it mean to speak of transforming penultimate things? Is the neo-Kuyperian view related to the Anabaptist vision of nature and grace and if not, how are they essentially different? What if Leonard Verduin intuited something?”

Dr. R. Scott Clark 
Heidleblog

Recently, someone left the link to a brief Clark essay wherein this quote was found in the comments section on Iron Ink. The commenter thought this essay proved that Clark was making progress. I disagree.

Clark objects to the idea of grace transforming nature (and so culture) preferring instead to say that grace renews nature in salvation. Clark desires to keep the renewing power of grace constrained to humans as it pertains to their salvation. However, this seems to be a constrained view of reality. After all, it is grace renewed and saved people who are the ones who create culture (an embodiment of nature). If grace renews nature in salvation then grace is going to renew everything that those salvifically renewed people are going to create in culture. One simply can’t have grace renewing nature in salvation without that renewal getting into everything the renewed and salvation visited person touches.  The products of culture, after all, don’t come into being apart from the renewed or unrenewed people who create them. I honestly don’t understand why this is so difficult for R2K Clark and his R2K buds.

Then Clark lists several, what I take are supposed to be real stumpers. as to how grace renews nature (grace transforms culture). Let’s take these one by one.

1.) Softball

I am going to use baseball as an example but it would apply to softball as well. Baseball just gives me more at-hand examples.

In 2017 the Houston Astros (Baseball) won the World Series. Sometime afterward it was revealed that the Astros won the World Series by the art of cheating as they were stealing signs. Several key team leaders lost their jobs and the team itself was fined $5 million for this cheating scandal. Allow me to propose to Dr. Clark that Christian baseball vis-a-vis non-Christian baseball would be less inclined to have this problem.

If Dr. Clark doesn’t like this example we could note that non-Christian baseball has seen performing-enhancing drugs be a huge issue in the recent past providing a barrier to Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmerio, and Roger Clemens gaining entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame. They are each in essence guilty of playing non-Christian baseball.

We could go on to give examples of Ty Cobb sharpening his spikes so that when he slid into 2nd base he would cut up the Shortstop covering the bag. We could write about Pete Rose paying the penalty for playing non-Christian baseball by violating the rules against gambling while a player.

Let’s pretend that genuine Reformation visited Major League Baseball. Does Dr. Clark actually believe that grace would not renew nature so that grace transformed baseball culture?

2.) Orchestral Music

Francis Schaeffer in this work  “The God Who is There,” spends some time looking at the Orchestral music of composer John Cage and demonstrates how Cage’s orchestral music was a declaration that the cosmos was the product of time plus chance. Cage’s music communicated that there was no meaning. This would be non-Christian Orchestral music and it is again difficult to understand how Clark can find this concept difficult. Is what Cage did in music akin to what Bach did in music?

3.) Art

Clark wants to know what makes Christian art, Christian. First, let us note there that the artist as God’s image-bearer cannot avoid getting their worldview into their art. Every piece of art means something and the meaning of that Art is going to determine whether the art in question is Christian or non-Christian or a mixture of both.

Second, art typically aims at beauty. Beauty is an objective category as existing in different genres. Art exists along an objective scale in those different genres of ugly to beautiful. The more beautiful a piece of art is the more Christian that art is and vice-versus.

It would seem that when we compare the modern art of a woman pushing paintballs out of her vagina onto a canvas (yes… that is a thing) and compare that to Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch,” or Monet’s “Water Lilies,” we would have to say that inasmuch as Rembrandt and Monet were going after beauty their work more closely approached Christian than pushing paintballs out of a human orifice on to a canvas.

4.) History

This one is a little breathtaking as history is really nothing but theology told in another venue. Does Clark not realize that a period of history as handled by the Marxist Historians Charles and Mary Beard is going to look and read very differently than that same period of history as covered by the Christian Historian C. Gregg Singer?

History is Christian or not Christian depending on the presuppositions that the historian has who is approaching the time period they are writing upon. I expect Nesta Webster or Edmund Burke as Christians to tell me a different story about the French Revolution than I expect to be told by Simon Schama or Albert Sobul. When I read the accounts of the American era of Reconstruction I expect a different report from the Dunning School than I expect to read from the Marxist “historian” Eric Foner.

5.) Math

Clark in all likelihood believes that Math is impervious to Christian or non-Christian categories. However perhaps Clark hasn’t heard of one Kareem Carr?

Harvard PhD student Kareem Carr’s recently had a dialogue about the abstract nature of mathematics and it was profiled by Popular Mechanics in an article entitled “Why Some People Think 2+2=5…and why they’re right.”

Carr’s “hope is that you understand the flexible relationship between our mathematical systems, our perceptions of the world, and the symbolic manipulations we use to reason about reality.

Note what is being said here is that mathematics is a social construct. There is nothing in objective in mathematics.  Any such reasoning gives us non-Christian mathematics.

So, pace Dr. Clark we do see that these matters can be handled either in a Christian manner or a non-Christian manner. Frankly, it is bewildering to me at least how any educated man could not readily see this. It’s like not readily noticing the oddity of tits on a boar.

However, the oddity does not end here for Dr. Clark. He goes on to say above that;

“I understand that when we get to ultimate matters, e.g., theology, there is a distinctively Christian view of things and there is certainly a Christian interpretation of the significance of things.”

What else is baseball, orchestral music, art, history, and math but “things?” And if they are “things” then why should there not be a Christian view of these things? Another theologian who shared the same last name as our erstwhile Escondido novice wrote a book a generation ago titled “A Christian View of Men and Things.” Gordon Clark realized that all things were at their heart theological. This is something that seems to escape Dr. R. Scott Clark. Maybe Scott should pick up Gordon’s book and give it a read. Maybe then he would understand?

 

 

The Word “World” In a Structure and Direction Paradigm

Today we want to start with the fall in Genesis. We know from the Genesis text that resulted in a lack of intimacy with God and man. Instead of God and man walking in the cool of the Garden in a harmony of interest, there is a summons by God for man to come forth that is resisted by a fall-driven emotion called “fear” (Gen. 3:8), and reveals a first time conflict of interest between God and His creation. Sin has entered the world via Satan’s temptation and man’s disobedience and the immediate consequence is a disordered world between God and man.

This disordered world then ripples out to man as seen in the lack of taking responsibility or ownership for their role in the fall. Adam blames God and Eve … Eve blames the Serpent. The conflict of interest that was absent in the Garden becomes a conflict of interest not only between God and man but between man and man.

Of course we know that these are not the only consequences of the fall … of man’s sin. Romans 5 tells us,

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

This is the common teaching we find here that Adam’s fall, acting as mankind’s Federal covenant head meant that all men share in the culpability of Adam’s sin. The puritans taught this to their children in their rhyme books, “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.” So the fall had a universal impact on mankind.

However, the negative impact of the fall is not only restricted to Adam and his human descendants but we also learn that the impact of the fall reaches beyond our first parents. We see that most immediately in Gen. 3:17 God curses the ground because of Adam’s sin. Already we see here that the Fall is not restricted to mankind. We get a fuller reading of this later in Scripture

Romans 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of [f]corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Here we see that the fall was cosmic so that not only did all of mankind fall in Adam but also all creation fell with the entrance of sin.

Scriptures teach that the fall was an event that resulted in all of God’s good creation being twisted and distorted from how it dropped originally from God’s hand. All of creation is involved in the drama of the fall and all of creation is involved in the drama of God’ restoration.

This is how serious the Fall is. We are living in a fallen world and sometimes that is more obvious to us than at other times. As we age we feel the fallenness of the world more. As we find dreams we once had for the future not coming to pass we feel the fallenness of the world much more. When relationships become tense and full of friction we feel our fallenness. We come to have an existential understanding that nothing in creation remains unaffected by the fall.

There is a term used in Scripture that tries to capture the impact and vast measure of the fall and that is the word “world.”

However, it is a sneak word that has been much mishandled over the centuries leading to some very suspect theology. The word “world” referring to the idea of the negative consequence of the fall we find in passages like,

Romans 12:2 where the Spirit says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.”

Now here clearly the word “world” has the meaning of fallenness. I am going to suggest that what Paul is saying here that Christians are not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world as this world lies in the grips of the fall.

We are going to see that Paul is not saying flee this world or give up on this world. He is using the word “world” in a very specific sense and that specific sense is the idea of the world in connection to its fallenness.

Another example of this usage of the word world is found in Colossians 2:8 where he talks about,

“… deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

We find the same sense when James writes,

“1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

Peter chimes in with this kind of usage of the word world

II Pt. 2:20 – If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing out Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In all of these cases, the word world is used in a negative sense. But we have to realize that all words have a range of meaning and in this case world in it usage refers to life as it is lived under the aegis of sinful rebellion outside of Christ.

One of our theologians put it that this usage of the word world, “refers to the totality of unredeemed life dominated by sin outside of Christ.”

So “world” in this usage is the resultant consequence of what the fall did to make abnormal the creation as it fell from God’s hand all well and good. In the usage of the word in this way wherever you find the inversion of God’s created order to purposes that defy God’s original structure of creation there you find “world.” It is in this sense that James can say, “Friendship with the world is enmity towards God.” Friendship with that which is the opposite intent of God in his creation is hatred towards the creator God.”

This is important to grasp because the lack of a proper understanding of this has led to some very unfortunate conclusions that have in turn led to some very unfortunate theology – so-called.

Instead of this understanding of the word “world” as meaning “the created order operating as in sinful rebellion to God,” the Church has to often snatched on to the word to refer to some distinct aspect of creation that is in and of itself “evil.” Whatever those areas might be we tend then to refer to those areas as “worldly”… or later we used the word “secular.” In doing so we created a category of sacred vs. secular where we listed some things that were sacred – things which were to be honored – and we listed some things that were worldly – things that we need to stay away from.

An example of this type of thinking is found in the film “Chariots of Fire.”

In that film Eric, the Christian Olympian has a close sister named Jennie. Jennie wants Eric for the China mission field and is not wild about her brother running in the Olympics. She believes that Eric has more important things to do. Jennie tries to convince Eric to come to China with her and forget all this running and racing. In the way we are trying to explain things this morning Jennie has turned running and racing into something “worldly,” and pleads for Eric to leave that in order to do the important “sacred” thing of going to China to do missionary work.

What we are going to continue to try and advance this morning is that is not a Biblical way to think. It is not Biblical to create “sacred” and “worldly” realms that find God automatically not present in some handling of the creational structures of His world while God is uber present in other fields like the ministry or being a missionary.

What has happened is that we have created unbiblical compartmentalization in our thinking where some fields are profane/worldly – fields like politics, or journalism while other fields are automatically “sacred” like being a minister or missionary. This fails to take into account that there can be in the ministry (and often there is indeed) worldliness while sacredness can be found among magistrates.

Scripture teaches us that whether you eat or drink, or whatever you dodo it all for the glory of God. There is no restriction of that command to being applicable only in the sacred realm and not being applicable in some worldly realm.

It simply is the case that the fall can get into every area of life so that every area of life is “worldly.” Doubt me? Just come along with me as I briefly chronicle worldliness in the Church. Karl Barth, whom Billy Graham once said was the greatest theologian in the 20th century lived with his wife and mistress for years. This has only recently been found out. The chap who took over a huge ministry in Florida some 12 or so years ago was quickly bounced for his sexual indiscretions. A chap who had a huge homeschool Christian ministry running out of Texas had to give up the profitable business because he thought the Nanny was one of the perks. I could go on for quite some time but this is just to illustrate that the ministry or the Church is not a compartmentalized place where “worldliness” can’t come in.

And on the other side, it is clear from all kinds of examples in history that the sacred attached itself to areas we tend to label as worldly. We can think of Elector Fredrick protecting Luther as a Magistrate. Was not that a sacred work? We can think of Patrick Henry’s or Edmund Burke’s stirring speeches as Magistrates and easily conclude that those were done for the glory of God. What about Gen. Anton Denikin the leader of the White Christian Russian army that resisted the Marxists. Could not Denikin fight to the glory of God?

So, what we are seeing here is that while the fall affected everything in creation, the structures of creation can still be handled by Godly men in a Christ-honoring direction and so give glory to God or the structures of creation can be handled by the godless in a Christ-hating direction and so bring disrepute upon God.

The fall does not make certain structures of creation out of bounds in terms of experiencing Redemption when handled by God’s Redeemed people who in handling those creational structures according to God’s law are moving those structures in the direction of God’s glory.

Let’s take some examples.

Everyone knows that sexuality and sex are creational structures that God made. Everyone also knows that sex and sexuality as fallen can become an ugly thing but the fallenness of sex and sexuality does not automatically make sex and sexuality “worldly.” Sex and sexuality can be handled by Christians in the boundaries of Marriage as holiness unto the Lord. Christians can handle sex and sexuality in a Christ-honoring direction.

War might be another example. Everyone knows how ugly war can be, but war in and of itself is not automatically “worldly.” War is a structure of creation and it can be handled in a godless direction and so lead to Americans putting a 1million German non armed combatants in death camps after Germany had been defeated in WW II (See book “Other Losses”) or war can be handled in a godly direction and so lead to Americans defending their homes in just war against unjust invaders. War as a creational structure is not inherently worldly. The only question is will we handle the creational structure of war in a godly direction as before God’s face or will we handle the creational structure of war in a godless direction.

So, what we are saying here is that while the fall did have a cosmic wide impact, it is also the case that with the Redemption that comes in Jesus Christ those creational structures that fell from God’s hand in Creation can all be handled to the glory of God. We dare not compartmentalize creational structures and say that some creational structures are automatically out of bounds because they are “worldly.” We dare not create a theology that talks about the glories of the “bi-furcated life.”

I mean … many of us grew up with this mindset. You can’t play cards because “cards are worldly” but you can play “Rook” because Rook is not worldly. You can’t do square dancing because dancing is “worldly.” You can’t study politics because that is worldly but you can study theology because that is holy.

Do you see what happens when we wrongly bifurcate the world this way?

1.) First, we become un-engaged. If we keep absenting our Christian witness from all those areas we consider “worldly” … so fallen they can’t be handled by good Christians then by default we surrender those fields to those who hate Christ. If we conclude that politics is automatically worldly then what chance will politics have of being Redeemed? If politics is not animated by Christians handling the creational structure of politics in a Christ-honoring fashion how will our Magistrates not just keep going from bad to worse? Do you want to know why our social order is like a snowball headed for hell? One reason is because of this kind of bifurcated “theology.”

2.) When we bifurcate the world this way we become practicing Gnostics. This is the fault of many pietists in the past and it is the dreadful fault of Radical Two Kingdom Theology. When we bifurcate the world this way so that there is a realm of nature called “worldly,” or called “common,” and we make that distinct from a realm of grace that is called “Holy” we have essentially deprecated all that falls in the realm of nature in favor of this super holy realm of grace.

3.) We give up on the ancient Reformed maxim that “grace restores nature.” The Reformers have always taught this idea that grace has an effect on the creational structure (nature) that when the creational structures (nature) are touched by God’s grace those creational structures (nature) experience a restoration that promises ongoing restoration in a Christ-honoring direction.

Allow me a brief rabbit trail on this one. We have so much given up on the idea that grace restores nature that we are now effectively embracing the idea that grace destroys nature. There is teaching existing in the Church that elucidates the idea that once one is converted one no longer retains their creational identities. We are all one in Christ has become a slogan that means that we all lose our gender identity, or our ethnic identity, or our class identity once we become a Christian. This so-called thinking is completely alien to the Scriptures and is taking the good principle that all men regardless of their creational identities are welcome at the Cross and turning it into a Cultural Marxist meme that at the cross men lose their creational identities. To push this is to push rank heresy.

So…let us briefly summarize where we have been.

1.) The fall affects all of creation and until Redemption comes to release a structure of creation from the baleful effects of the fall it continues to be under “the prince of this world (John 12:31).

2.) However, the Redemption that Christ brought when He as the Kingdom of God brought in the Kingdom of God rescues fallen men who then in turn handle the fallen structures of creation in a God-honoring direction.

3.) There are no creational structures as falling from the hand of God in creation that cannot be handled for the glory of God and so take part in Redemption.

4.) The business of all Redeemed Christians is to bring the fragrance of the Kingdom of God to every creational structure so that it serves the King in the direction it is being used.

Implications

This means that as we seek to wrest these creational structures from the godless direction in which they are being put to service by unredeemed men that friction will be the result. Those outside of Christ like operating God’s creational structures in a God-dishonoring way. They like, for example, twisting sex and sexuality so that it results in the most grotesque expressions. They like, for example, twisting God’s design of creation so that men and peoples are gifted with differing abilities into an egalitarian and equity Utopian social order that mocks God’s intent.

The Christ haters won’t like those creational structures partaking in Redemption when in the hands of Redeemed men and women, and when that begins to happen in any quarter they will squeal like a two-year-old who has been denied for the first time his will.

We have to understand this in order to understand our times.

By way of implication, we have to understand that all this is complicated by a Church that itself acts like a creational structure that is now in the hands of the unredeemed who are operating the church in a Christ-dishonoring direction. We need to note this because as the Redeemed seeking to bring a Christ-honoring direction to creational structures we are consistently being told by those who identify as “the Church” that we are being godless… that we are being haters of Christ ourselves.

We have to steel ourselves for this. The Church, generally speaking, has given into the Cultural Marxist zeitgeist. They have reinterpreted Christianity through the philosophical prism of Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse, and Max Horkheimer among others. The result is the biggest enemy of Christianity in the West today is the heretofore Conservative Reformed and Baptists Churches. They are the ones pursuing CRT, Intersectionality, and the Great Reset. They are the ones who are sitting on their hands as “celibate sodomy” pushes its way into their clergy class. They are the ones who have crafted an alien Christ and placed him where the true Christ is to be ruling. They are the ones who are crucifying again Christ to their own harm by imputing Christ’s acceptance of the foulest of social order sins and irregularities. They are the ones despising 2000 years of church history on everything from what it means to be male and female to the natural relations that God has sanctioned among families and people groups.

And unless they repent they are the ones who will hear … “Depart from me you workers of iniquity for I never knew you.”